Whether class conflict is still relevant today

 Whether class conflict is still relevant today


 Class conflict

According to Marxist, world politics explore global problems and all these problems are contributed by the global capitalist system (Baylis et al. 2011, p, 130). In address these issues, world politics focuses on global capitalism, which has created inequality and hence global poverty. The world politics address various issues such as human rights, war, global poverty, political environment, class conflict, among other issues. Marx argues that among the many issues that world politics addresses, the conflict between classes is the main factor. The world politics consider the class conflict as the main factor because the world is under the capitalist system that values and benefits the powerful and wealthy, and ignores the poor (Baylis et al. 2011, p, 132). It is important to note that the issue of conflict is rooted in the economy of a society. According to Marxist, the capitalist class owns the means of production and the ownership affects the relations of production or the social relationships between the capitalists and the workers do not exist. The capitalist have new productive capacity and therefore workers become the source of profit (Baylis et al. 2011, p, 134). Note that the capitalist has the material and equipment needed for production and the only thing they require is labor power (workers) to do all the work and earn little.  Both classes (the class of laborers and the capitalists) have conflicting ideas, which lead to the class struggle in the capitalist society. There are no economic relations and therefore economic has caused social change in that capitalists dominate the society (Baylis et al. 2011, p, 134). In a capitalist economy, capitalists have the power to control not only the economy but also the legal and political institution. The class struggle occurs because of exploitative relationship where the poor continue to be poor while the capitalists continue to exploit the workers.

 Today, class conflict (conflict between capitalists and laboring class) is still relevant since the capitalist world system exist and it is at the ‘end phase'. Note that during the period of the cold war, liberal politics supported democracy but rather than creating democracy, the cold war led to free-market capitalism, which allowed the communist parties to own the means of production, and created a profit-based economy (Baylis et al. 2011, p, 140).  Today, the world system is dominated by economic interest and the capitalists have power to control the economic and political structures. Another thing that shows the class struggle is still relevant is feminist writings. The authors assert that today, women are treated as the provider of labor. Capitalism has created a sexual division where women are used as cheap labor and are unpaid.

             Delaney (2015, p, 38) argues that that class struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat is still relevant today in that major corporations are profit-oriented and the ends results are inequality and exploitation of workers. Even though the main aim of the corporation is to make profit, modern corporations own means of production, and what they only require is time and low-wage labor (Delaney, 2015, p, 38). In the US, the low-wage labor is growing dramatically and the individual capitalists do not provide job security and other benefits. They focus on maximizing profits while exploiting and alienating workers. Therefore, it is worth saying that today, the class struggle exists because of the economy, and it has contributed to other social issues such as social stratification (Delaney, 2015, p, 39). Even though other authors such as Max Weber argue that social issues are contributed by other factors such as political factors, it is worth to note that economy factors are the root cause. They contribute to all other social issues in that workers live in an oppressive environment where they experience inequality on health, education, and other resources due to exploitation and lack of power to access resources (Delaney, 2015, p, 39). However, Marx argues that the workers can support the communist ideology and increase their power to end class inequality and exploitation of labor.  

 The conflict theory or the class struggle is present in today’s culture since capitalists’ society still exists (ZWEIG, 2004, p, 61). First, it is important to focus on the modern global economy especially in capitalism countries. Second, it is important to focus on globalization, which has allowed the capitalists countries to expand their economic power. Thus, the globalization and capitalist countries help understand that the capitalist elite have more economic freedom and they have the power to spread its power across borders and benefit from trade (Zweig, 2004, p, 61).  Globalizations and capitalism also shed light that all workers everywhere are exploited and used as cheap labor.  Note that in globalization, the capitalist's countries do not have an economic ideology but they are driven by a political ideology which allows them to create a class division. For example, the U.S is considered as the superpower in global capitalism and this means that the class struggle between capitalists and workers and between rich and poor nations is not only driven by economic ideology but there are some political aspects (Zweig, 2004, p, 61). In trying to address the issue of class struggle, the fundamentalist religious groups express their grievances toward the injustices and sufferings but the U.S response to the grievances has been the use of military power across the globe to maintain its empire as well as its economy.  

  Sklair (2000, p.1) asserts that globalization has created the transnational capitalist class which means that some countries have strong power and dominant class structures.  Corporations in these countries have globalized in terms of foreign investment, offering best practices, and improving the standard of living in societies (Sklair, 2000, p.1).  These corporations, which come from the transnational capitalist class, have increased class struggle by having workplace control, economic control, political control, and culture-ideology control.  The transnational capitalist class has powerful weapons that allow it to compete and sustain growth.

 According to the theory of realism, powerful states in the international affairs struggle for power.  Since the Cold War, powerful states such as the U.S and the Soviet Union have struggled for power for a long time and international affairs do not have a central authority to control the rivalry (Walt, 1998, p. 31).  Thus, each state struggles to maintain survival and this means that weaker states do not have the power to conquer.  On the other hand, power states have the power to protect themselves by forming alliances and using defensive military postures (Walt, 1998, p.32).  Thus, class struggle is still relevant in that powerful states have power and security to maintain their predominant position as well as the political, economic, and social welfare whereas weaker states will continue to suffer from class conflict.

            Cox (1983, p. 165) add that powerful states have global superpower or hegemony over the other states.  It is important to note that hegemony or power in states such as the U.S is continuing and the international order is characterized by hegemony, and dominance.  Great nations have the power to regulate the economy and material resources since they are the main actors.  Factors that influence power include military capability, political, economic, and social power.

 It is also important to note that the developmental state or states that have strong intervention support free-market capitalism.  They are influenced by their self-regulating capacity, they have the means of production and hence they have exploitative power and they are influenced by hegemonic ideology, and they have authoritarian character and competing interest (Radice, H., 2008, p. 1155). These capabilities have created two classes (the capitalists, and the proletarians).  Note that powerful countries do not have the power to regulate the economy but they have capital that allows expressing their economic interest (Milanovi, 2011, p. 126).  On the other hand, the proletarians have labor power, the power is exploited, and the income id unequally distributed.








Cox, R.W., 1983. Gramsci, hegemony and international relations: an essay in

method. Millennium12(2), pp.162-175.


Baylis, J., Smith, S., & Owens, P. 2011. The Globalization of World Politics: An

Introduction to International Relations. OUP Oxford


Delaney, T. 2015. Connecting Sociology to Our Lives: An Introduction to Sociology. New            York: Routledge



Milanovic, B., 2011. Global inequality: from class to location, from proletarians to migrants.

The World Bank.


Radice, H., 2008. The developmental state under global neoliberalism. Third World

Quarterly29(6), pp.1153-1174.


Sklair, L., 2000. The transnational capitalist class and the discourse of globalisation. Cambridge

Review of International Affairs14(1), pp.67-85.



Walt S.M., 1998. International Relations: one world, Many Theories. Foreign Policy, pp. 29-46.


Zweig, M. 2004. What's class got to do with it?: American society in the twenty-first century.

Ithaca, N.Y., ILR Press.


1463 Words  5 Pages

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